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Appeal to Kofi Annan: Set up a UN Mediation Commission on Iran!

Published 15 March 2006

New York, March 14 2006:

A group of prominent individuals and non-governmental organisations are today appealling to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to intervene in the crisis over Iran’s nuclear programme. Professor Victor Sidel, Head Representative to the New York City site for the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), the organization awarded the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, is delivering the appeal to the Secretary-General’s office this morning. The appeal asks the Secretary-General to set up a UN commission to mediate with the parties in conflict and to deescalate the crisis.

The appeal has been signed by, among others, the Chair of the Interaction Council and former Prime Minister of Japan, Kiichi Miyazawa, former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Fraser, former Prime Minister of France, Michel Rocard, former UNSCOM director Richard Butler, and Senator emeritus Douglas Roche O.C. , former Ambassador for Disarmament, Canada.

The idea for the appeal originated in Germany, where hundreds of individuals and organisations signed the appeal before it became internationally known and supported by such international organisations as the Interaction Council, representing a group of former Heads of State and statesmen, or the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and the Transnational Institute, to name a few.

The appeal calls for a moratorium on all threats and counter-threats during the time the UN mediation commission is developing proposals for a solution to the conflict, suggesting that at least six months would be needed for this. The commission should include members that have held high office and understand the political responsibilities of the parties involved while being personalities of outstanding authority.

While a list of proposed members was included in the appeal to the Secretary-General, it is expected that the Secretary-General will draw up his own list. The list in the appeal simply provides examples of people who would be effective in such an effort.

The proposal is linked to the hope that this process would not only result in a solution for the Iranian nuclear conflict, but also would open up possibilities for multinational consultations on the whole region of the Greater Middle East that go far beyond the scope of the present nuclear conflict.

- Berlin, Xanthe Hall Tel.: +49-30 - 698 074 - 12
- Boston, IPPNW Central Office, John Loretz: +1- 617-868 5050
- New York, Dr. Victor Sidel, +1-718-920-6586
- Australia, Dimity Hawkins, +61-3-8344 1637
- France, ACDN, Jean-Marie Matagne, +33-6-73-50-76-61

Appeal to Kofi Annan

Drafted on February 16, 2006 and delivered to the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General on March 14th, 2006.

For a moratorium and a high level UN Commission to mediate in the conflict over Iran’s nuclear programme, and to break the cycle of escalation.

The conflict between Iran and the West has become alarmingly more acute since mid January. Threats and counter-threats have been stepped up. Soon, the confrontation could take another course and lead to sanctions or the use of force, seriously affecting world peace. In order to prevent further escalation, there has to be a break in the conflict for the conflict parties to be able to carefully reconsider their aims and patterns of behaviour, in order to develop new proposals and procedures. To achieve this, we suggest that the UN Secretary-General exercise his right to call a UN Commission into being at any time.

We request the UN Secretary-General to set up, as soon as possible, an international UN Mediation Commission made up of personalities of an outstanding and broad reputation. The Commission, chaired by the UN Secretary-General, should develop proposals for a peaceful solution to the conflict and present them to the world public within half a year’s time.

Members of the Commission should be experienced politicians that are no longer in office, as well as personalities of outstanding moral authority.*

The Commission would request the Iranian government to suspend enrichment of uranium and other research activities relating to the field of nuclear technology during the period of its deliberations, in the sense of a moratorium. All conflicting parties would be called upon to desist from making any kind of threats aimed at each other.

The proposal of a moratorium, combined with such a high-ranking Mediation Commission, should be acceptable for all parties since in this time period no further threatening factors would arise.

Our proposal is linked to the hope that this process would not only result in a solution for the Iranian nuclear conflict, but also would open up possibilities for multinational consultations on the whole region of the Greater Middle East that go far beyond the scope of the present nuclear conflict.

Thus the signatories of this appeal request UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to take the initiative in favour of a moratorium and for mediation.

* We have named a few examples here of personalities that in our opinion could be called upon to serve on such a Commission.

- Martti Ahtisaari(former President of Finland)
- Gro Harlem Brundtland (former Prime Minister of Norway)
- William Jefferson Clinton (former President of the United States of America)
- Mikhail Gorbachev, (former President of the Soviet Union)
- Sayyid Mohammad Khatami (former President of the Islamic Republic of Iran)
- Nelson Mandela (former President of South Africa)
- Avi Primor (former Ambassador of Israel to Germany)
- Mary Robinson (former President of Ireland)
- Michel Rocard (former Prime Minister of France)
- Gerhard Schröder (former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany)
- Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Husaini Sistani (Shiite Leader in Iraq)

Signatories (more to be added)

- Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford, Past Co-president of IPPNW
- Richard Butler, Chair of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
- Jean du Preez, Director of the International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies
- Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser, former Prime Minister of Australia
- Mairead Corrigan Maguire, co-founder of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement (later named Community of Peace People) and 1976 Nobel Peace Laureate
- William W. Monning, JD, Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Monterey Institute of International Studies
- Michel Rocard, former Prime Minister of France
- Senator emeritus Douglas Roche O.C., former Ambassador for Disarmament, Canada

International Organisations

- Fiona Dove, Transnational Institute
- Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Duerr, Global Challenge Network
- Alfred L. Marder, President, International Association of Peace Messenger Cities
- Kiichi Miyazawa, Co-Chair, Interaction Council
- Susi Snyder, Secretary-General, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
- Dr. Gunnar Westberg/Dr. Ron McCoy, Co-presidents of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)

National Organisations

- Janet Bloomfield, Atomic Mirror, UK
- Wayne Hall, ATTAC-Hellas, Greece
- John Hallam, Friends of the Earth, Australia
- Kate Hudson, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, UK
- David Krieger, President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, USA
- Ahmed Manaï, Institut Tunisien des Relations Internationales (ITRI), France
- Jean-Marie Matagne, Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire (ACDN)
- Pamela Meidell, Atomic Mirror, USA
- OMEGA (IPPNW - Austria)
- Tilman Ruff, MAPW (IPPNW - Australia)
- Kathleen Sullivan, Coordinator, Nuclear Weapons Education and Action Project, USA

The full list of signatories can be found at:

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IRAN : No proliferation! No war!
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